Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial beginning of summer for many of us. Of course, summer doesn’t technically start until the Summer Solstice on June 21, but even now we are all getting ready for barbecues, family outings and for many, camp or vacations.

And that means….yupp….FUN IN THE SUN!

We have all been warned about the deleterious effects of sunburn – the links to skin cancer, sun poisoning, blisters and more. And we all slather tons of high SP UV protective lotion on our kids before they go out to play. But did you know that sun, in moderation, is essential to our overall health? We should not shun it entirely, but, rather, welcome its warmth and rays in our pursuit of wellness.

Here are a few reasons why  that big shiny star called the “sun” is so important…

Why the Sun is Good for You

  1. Provides Vitamin D: The sun is a natural source of this important vitamin that is necessary for the absorption of calcium (healthy bones), the possible prevention of diabetes, the control of cholesterol (thereby helping to reduce one of the causes of heart disease) and the prevention of certain types of cancer.
  2. Provides Heat: OK, we know sometimes you will have to cool off after being out in the sun, but it is a natural muscle relaxant for those aches and pains you get during the stresses of your daily lives.
  3. Helps prevent Multiple Sclerosis: Scientists have noted a correlation between the exposure to the sun during childhood and a lessened risk of developing this neuromuscular disease. In fact, sunny countries seem to have less MS patients!
  4. Helps skin conditions: Limited exposure to the sun is known to help relieve such skin conditions as psoriasis, acne, and eczema – just be sure to talk to your doctor about how much time and how often you should expose your skin to prevent any other possible problems.
  5. Just makes you feel better!!! Ever notice how you are more raring to go on a sunny day than a gloomy one? The sun is a natural anti-depressant! It can beat those nasty winter blues, and it is a source of serotonin, which makes us happier and more upbeat.
  6. And, we love this one: it can help prevent cavities! Dentists have shown there is an increase in cavities in kids who live in less sunny locations! Of course, we all know that regardless of the sun, brushing your teeth and cleaning your tongue are critical to good oral health.

So get out there and enjoy the sun, everyone! Just be sure you do so in moderation and that you use good sense – we don’t want any crispy critters, just healthy ones! ☀

And, to each of you, have a safe Memorial Day weekend…don’t forget to pause for a moment, while you are enjoying that barbecue, to think of those we have lost who fought for our freedom to bask in the sun.